Two years ago, we were gobsmacked when humble Lotus shocked the automotive world by wheeling out no fewer than five new models – admittedly in various stages of development – at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The ambitious onslaught of new sheetmetal came at the behest of then-CEO Danny Bahar who aimed to broaden the British marque's appeal by dramatically expanding its portfolio. Bahar was later thrown out by new Malaysian owners DRB-Hicom in a management shakeup that seems to still be, well, shaking out. Bahar was deposed over accusations of financial wrongdoing and the controversial executive has fired back with a $10.6M lawsuit.

Against this chaotic background, a cornerstone of Lotus' revival plans hinged on the rebirth of its Esprit supercar (shown in 2010 concept form above). According to new reports, however, the Esprit has been cancelled, a victim of the company's uncertain finances and direction. Depending on which rumor you choose to believe, the two-seat coupe was slated to receive a house-built V8 and possibly turbocharging or hybrid power. That may all be moot now, however, as DRB-Hicom is reported to have scrapped Bahar's plans wholesale, a development that apparently includes killing off the mid-engined Esprit, too.


UPDATE: And this, friends, is why we have this story with a question mark and a Rumormill tag – Lotus is denying that the Esprit has been killed off.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 41 Comments
      Ace Convoy
      • 2 Years Ago
      UPDATE: Seems we spoke too soon, original source Autoguide has been informed by Lotus that the Esprit is indeed still being developed. http://jalopnik.com/5949001/lotus-just-cancelled-the-pointless-and-bloated-esprit ...nope....
      LOLO
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who else wouldn't be surprised?!?!!? Everything they make cant get off the ground now. Indy car engine program (why did they even make that commitment when they knew they couldn't) cup cars (not really off the ground at all they should have joined ALMS with outside help every car they race that livery on is "really anything they made". (this has been going on a while in smaller leagues as well as F1) Every thing they build is a spruce goose..it flies 100 ft up then lands only to be parked and never flown again. I just think this company is smaller than they think (and by that i mean both ways KNOW and DREAM) They make alot of big moves small ability. Id like to see 3 cars from them Hybrid (they have this platform down packed just talk to other companies.) sport (from this make all the "spinoofs and editions you want) Supercar (limited numbers all power no frills) STOP TALKING ABOUT ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE GONNA DO AND GONNA GET just do them. Stop starting programs u know u cant finish.
      Ace Convoy
      • 2 Years Ago
      You boys are slow. It was either Leftlane or Jalopnik, but Lotus has already denied the death of the stillborn Esprit.
      Lachmund
      • 2 Years Ago
      not surprised by these overambitions but still a damn shame
      IBx27
      • 2 Years Ago
      That would be a damn shame; I was really impressed by all of those Lotus concepts.
      drewpy
      • 2 Years Ago
      So...not cancelled?
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not a surprise. Lotus needs a volume car, otherwise they will go under.
      Ace Convoy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Thing still looks like a dang Gallardo.
        Joe D.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ace Convoy
        I dont think so, the front fascia resembles it slightly... it has an exotic flair mixed with a dose of lotus sensibility, where as the gallardo is just all flair, they only really similar in that they are both wedge shaped. Its a gorgeous car and looks like a proper sequel to the old esprits... I like it.
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      No big loss considering the new lineup from Lotus all look like Lamborghini reject and completely lack any Originality or Innovation .
        KY
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan Ippolito
        Apple, is that you?
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      No big loss considering the new lineup from Lotus all look like Lamborghini reject and completely lack any Originality or Innovation .
      mookieblaylock
      • 2 Years Ago
      how could they plan on their own engine instead of the toyota when finances were so tight ?
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      So Lotus is Canceling all it's new models that are styled after Lamborgini rejects . I so hope Lotus gets a clue soon and sells the company to an auto manufactor who actually cares about the company's heritige and improves the build quality of their cars .
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